On August 14, 10,000 people gathered at City Hall Plaza in Seoul to protest the deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system. The National Taskforce to Oppose THAAD Deployment in South Korea mobilized a nationwide peace action to demand the South Korean government and the U.S. immediately rescind their decision to deploy the THAAD system in South Korea. The peace action took place just one day before the 71st anniversary of Korea’s liberation from Japanese colonization. 35 residents of Seongju, North Gyeongsang Province, the planned site of the THAAD deployment, also traveled to Seoul to join the protest. Seongju residents gathered at their nightly candlelight protest in their hometown were connected via live video chat to the people gathered in Seoul. During the live video chat, Seongju residents resolved to fight together with South Koreans across the country and said, “Let us work together to prevent the THAAD deployment.”

The following day on August 15, 5,000 residents gathered in Seongju for a mass demonstration. 815 residents of Seongju (in honor of August 15 – Day of liberation from Japanese colonial rule) had planned to shave their heads as an act of protest against the THAAD deployment. 908 residents, including elders in their 80s and young people in their 20s, participated in this action.

The petition demanding the U.S. White House rescind its decision to deploy the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) missile defense system in South Korea reached 100,000 signatures last week. The online petition launched by Korean Americans in the U.S. on July 15 required 100,000 signatures within 30 days to trigger an official response from the White House. The petition reached the required number of signatures on August 9, five days before the deadline of August 14. Starting on August 14, the White House has 60 days to give an official response.

 

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